The last generation Honda Civic changed the game in the compact segment, quickly atoning for the missteps of the previous generation. Now, the eleventh generation 2022 Honda Civic has arrived aiming to build on the goodness of its predecessor with a little more maturity and refinement. Alex recently got some seat time in a range-topping Civic Touring sedan in Los Angeles to see if this a worthy predecessor.
Upon first glance, the 2022 Honda Civic gives you mini Accord vibes, especially in the sedan. The side profile is eerily similar complete with a roofline that descends rapidly. In front you get the new Honda family look, further adding to the mini Accord appearance. However, Honda has ditched the chrome mustache, giving it a cleaner, more restrained appearance. The grille opening features horizontal slats while the headlights now have the LED accent on top shaped like the letter L pointed down. In the back, the family corporate theme continues with two L-shaped taillight clusters, adding to the restrained look.
The simple yet elegant theme continues inside the 2022 Civic where you get a dash with a horizontal layout. Front and center is a 7.0- or 9.0-inch touchscreen depending on the trim and an available 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster on the Touring model. Conspicuously, there isn’t a single trim available with power lumbar, making the Civic the only compact car that doesn’t have that feature. The latest version of the Honda Sensing driver assistance suite is standard on all trims and now adds traffic jam assist. The Touring trim builds on that by adding automatic emergency braking that works at parking lot speeds. Blind-spot monitoring is finally available in the Civic but it’s limited to the EX and Touring grades. If you want rear cross-traffic alert, too, that’s only on the latter.
Even with its low-slung roofline, the Civic still offers a spacious interior and a large trunk for your gear, which you can expand via the 60/40 split-folding rear seats. If you’re looking for more practicality, you may want to wait for the hatch because that could offer significantly more cabin space. Four passengers sit comfortably while five will be fine for a shorter trip. Tall people, however, may want to sit in front because the headroom is a little tight.
Initially, two carryover four-cylinder engines will be offered. The LX and Sport grades get a 2.0-liter with 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. EX and Touring models use a 1.5-liter turbocharged unit that’s good for 180 hp and 177 lb-ft. Your only transmission choice in the Civic sedan is a CVT. The only way to get the six-speed manual will be to wait for the upcoming Civic hatchback or the performance variants, the Si and Type R.
EPA fuel economy ratings are as follows (city/highway/combined).
LX: 31/40/35 mpg
Sport: 30/37/33 mpg
EX: 33/42/36 mpg
Touring: 31/38/34 mpg
Don’t expect performance to change much versus the outgoing generation because the bones and powertrain remain the same. That means the Civic remains one of the better-handling entries in the compact segment thanks to its suspension tuning and wider tires to give it more grip. This also improves braking performance, allowing the Civic to stop shorter than most of its competitors. As a result, the fun-to-drive factor on the Civic is quite high yet it’s calibrated to also keep the ride comfortable. Yes, it’s slightly stiff but it’s so nicely polished that you don’t trade compliance for agility.
The available turbocharged engine adds the power to enable you to exploit the 2022 Honda Civic’s capabilities. Generous torque and lots of power yield brisk acceleration. If you’re looking for more, wait for the Civic Si and Civic Type R. However, be ready to row your own gears because Honda has made it clear those will remain manual-only.
The rollout of the 2022 Honda Civic will continue throughout 2021 and likely into the 2022 calendar year. Our initial impressions show that this generation builds on the previous one, resulting in a refined yet agile compact car that’s easy to live with and more grown-up. We’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the Civic family has to offer when we finally get our hands on the hatchback and the two performance models: the Civic Si and Civic Type R.